“Meditation opens the heart, bringing your “heart essence” forward.”
Children respond naturally to this meditation. They are easily engaged when you simply say, “Let’s listen to the sound that our breath makes.”
This mantra is not only a reflection of the sound of the breath but also carries a contemplative meaning. It means So= “I am” and Hum= “that”. That refers to all of creation, the one who is breathing us all. In Vedic philosophy, the scholarshave interpreted the “That” in the mantra to represent the Universe or all of creation and the So Hum mantra symbolizes the fact that we are all connected to the universal energy that is constantly supporting and nourishing us
The So Hum has no meaning so has no associations and is not a religious chant. It will help children move beyond their mind’s chatter to a place of awareness in the moment.
With the children in easy pose with a straight spine or lying down you can have them start with simple guided imagery where the children can notice their breathing; for example, ask them to visualize the ocean and watch the ocean waves go up on the inhale and down on the exhale. If they are unable to close their eyes you can have them soften their gaze and look down.
Then have them listen to their in-breath and then their out-breath and then have them listen silently to So Hum. Instruct them to focus on “So” as they breathe in and “Hum” as they breathe out and have them visualize all human beings, creatures of the Earth being fed by this breath. And ask them, ‘Where is your breath coming from?” You can have them imagine their exhalation leaving their body through their nostrils and joining the atmosphere, back into “all that is”. Sometimes they prefer to whisper the mantra too.
Have the children bring their hands together in prayer position to finish and close with a moment of gratitude or prayer as they tune into their own oneness with all.
For younger children, it is about a minute of meditation for the age of the child. It is best to start with one minute of the meditation and then increase a minute with each practice. Children really relax in this meditation and benefit from the breathing, mantra and being in corpse pose (savasana). They come out of it relaxed, happy and still!